FA Cup Semi-Final : Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur - Player Ratings
Manchester United will contest their second FA Cup final in three seasons after coming from behind to defeat Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
Dele Alli gave the Lilywhites the lead, directing Christian Eriksen’s low cross into an open net with David De Gea taken out of the equation.
Jose Mourinho’s side equalised soon after as Alexis Sanchez continued his rich goal-scoring form at Wembley by heading in from Paul Pogba’s well-floated cross after the Frenchman managed to dispossess Moussa Dembele.
United assumed control of proceedings and were duly rewarded when Ander Herrera – who was excellent in all facets – neatly struck his shot from Romelu Lukaku’s mis-controlled pass through the legs of Ben Davies and past stand-in keeper Michel Vorm.
Spurs were unable to find any clear openings since, as United will seek to finish their season with a trophy when they face either Chelsea or Southampton in the final at the same venue on 19th May.
Here are the player ratings from the semi-final:
Michel Vorm – 5.5
Vorm was completely wrong-footed for both goals, failing to get across as Sanchez planted his header to cancel out Spurs’ opener and Herrera completed the turnaround with a well-timed strike. He made a couple of routine saves.
Kieran Trippier – 6.5
Trippier showed positivity in the first half, giving Young a testing period by going forward and linking with Eriksen. His offensive impact deteriorated in the second half.
Davinson Sanchez – 6.5
Sanchez had an impressive game, dealing with United’s set-pieces which were a regularity during the game.
The ex-Ajax centre-half could maybe have done more to get across Lukaku and prevent him from meeting Sanchez’s pass in the build-up to United’s winner.
Jan Vertonghen – 6.5
Vertonghen’s timing of the jump in reaction to Pogba’s pass was ill-timed, giving Alexis the opportunity to head towards goal.
He organised his man-marking to defend United’s set-pieces professionally and also slotted in at left-back, the position he usually adopts while playing for Belgium, after Davies was withdrawn for Lucas Moura.
The switch could not bring the desired effect.
Ben Davies - 5
Davies could be judged as the guilty party for both goals, firstly for allowing Sanchez to beat him to the header from Pogba’s ball and later failing to deal with Lukaku’s uncontrolled lay-off, albeit he was expertly shielded off the ball by Lingard.
Though his ambitions to go forward were creditable, these goal-bound moments ultimately led to his downfall.
Eric Dier – 6.5
Dier nearly scored on the stroke of half-time, his shot from long-range taking a deflection off Smalling and striking the woodwork with De Gea rooted.
He also put in a last-man tackle to win the ball off Rashford after the forward looked certain to kill the game on being released clean through, hesitating to get his shot away.
His passing from midfield was mostly purposeful and risk-free and was an important aspect of Spurs’ dominance in the early stages of the semi-final.
United’s fluidity in the second half and later defensive organisation diminished his influence on proceedings.
Moussa Dembele – 6
The Belgian midfielder showed the intensity of a box-to-box midfielder in the first half – winning duels and being sharp on the ball.
But he was punished by one lacklustre moment, losing possession to Pogba, who went on to provide a sublime assist for Sanchez to score the equaliser. He was well shut out by United’s resurgent midfield in the second half.
Christian Eriksen - 7
Eriksen was the chief playmaker for Alli’s goal, running into acres of space with Young nowhere in the picture and Pogba struggling to make up ground.
He had enough time to pace the ball across the face of goal for Alli to tap in and put Spurs in front. The Danish star came close himself soon after, skewing his shot from close range despite having a fair vision of the goal.
He was the pick of the Spurs bunch, locating team-mates expertly to provide passes and attempting to weave through a tight United defence in the latter stages.
Dele Alli – 6.5
Alli set the semi-final alight with a good finish from Eriksen’s cross. His movement around the box and partnership with Harry Kane posed an issue for United’s defenders early on, but he was well marshalled and eventually tied down as the second half unfolded.
Son Heung-min – 6
A brilliant first half for the Korean – where he bossed the flank against Valencia – was mirrored by an ineffective second half, where the Ecuadorian was assisted by his team-mates to prevent him from an escapade towards the byline.
United had clearly done their homework on him.
Harry Kane – 5.5
A promising first half for the prolific striker was replaced by an uncharacteristically listless display in the latter stages of the semi-final tie.
From a handful of neat touches, including a layoff for Eriksen for his skewed shot, it was a series of misplaced passes and an inability to turn defenders in order to buy some shooting space.
He was given no room whatsoever by a United defence who ensured that Spurs were made to play in their shell after they went in front.
Lucas Moura – 6
Moura passed the ball meticulously within a crowded United defence, but could not effect the final product.
Victor Wanyama – 5
The Kenyan midfielder replaced Dembele, but could not find a way past United’s two rows of defence that were set up to defend their comeback lead.
Erik Lamela – N/A
Lamela came on in the 86th minute and didn’t get the time he needed to make an impact.